Expert Advice

DEFENSEWERX Innovation Hubs

This month’s newsletter explores the Innovation Hubs at DEFENSEWERX (DWX). I had the opportunity to see the DWX presentation at last month’s Air Force Contracting Summit, and I knew I needed to share it with our Norcal PTAC – APEX Accelerator audience.

DWX is a fantastic organization that allows small businesses, academia, industry, and other innovators to lower the barrier to gaining access to the federal government. Norcal PTAC’s service area is an innovator-rich environment; many innovators and startups will appreciate the opportunity DWX offers.

The first thing you should know is that DWX is not a government agency; it is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that utilizes non-Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based mechanisms to support the federal government and provides its services for free. Being non-FAR-based allows DWX to reduce the bureaucracy that can inhibit innovators from traditional and nontraditional organizations from approaching the government through regular federal government innovation pipelines such as Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer.

DWX is a neutral facilitator and trusted partner for technology scouting, development, and implementation activities to support defense, security, intelligence, and government partners. As a neutral facilitator, DWX is not a part of the government selection team. Instead, deciding to engage with an innovator on a particular project falls directly on the government agencies. DWXs role is to empower a culture of proactivity, creating the ability to field capabilities within a six-to-eighteen-month window while also exploring other government and commercial opportunities.

DWX innovation typically advances efforts around several key areas, including:

  • Technology Transfer, Transition, and Commercialization
  • STEM and Workforce Development
  • Facilitation of Prototyping
  • Purposeful Collisions Between Small Business, Academic, Industry, and Government
  • Assessment and Collaboration Innovation Events and Efforts (including hackathons, feasibility studies, prize challenges, technology landscape analyses, tech talks, rapid prototyping events, tech springs, and capabilities assessment and collaboration events)

DWX cultivates the world’s largest innovation ecosystem and manages a series of innovation hubs around the U.S. in support of government partners and the interest of national security, defense, and intelligence. The DWX family of innovation hubs currently includes:

  • Doolittle Institute in Niceville, FL, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.
  • SOFWERX in Tampa, FL, in partnership with U.S. Special Operations Command.
  • MGMWERX in Montgomery, AL, in partnership with Air University.
  • ERDCWERX in Vicksburg, MS, in partnership with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.
  • Cyber Fusion Innovation Center (CFIC) in Augusta, GA, in partnership with U.S. Army Cyber Command.
  • “HS” WERX innovation hub in partnership with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology (DHS S&T).
  • ICWERX innovation hub in partnership with the intelligence community.
  • Nautilus innovation hub in Arlington, VA, in partnership with U.S. Department of Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR) and NavalX Headquarters.
  • AFWERX in Las Vegas, NV, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force.

Innovators interested in joining the DWX innovation ecosystem or signing up for updates from a specific hub and government partner should visit their website at You only need to upload your Capability Statement when signing up; DWX doesn’t require a White Paper to engage with them. If you need help with a Capability Statement, contact your PTAC counselor who can also discuss DWX and help you submit your interest form.

Norcal APEX Accelerator is planning a webinar with DWX this July for our clients to learn more and ask questions directly to their leadership. You can register for this invaluable event here >>


If you are looking for help with government contracting or want no-cost help to find contracting opportunities, please contact your Norcal PTAC counselor for assistance or apply for services today!

If you have more questions, please contact us at or 707.267.7561

Authored by: Nanci Pigeon, Norcal PTAC Procurement Specialist

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